If I asked you to tell me how you express the inner you with what you wear, what would you say? Don’t worry if you aren’t clear about how to express who you are with fashion. It takes time to develop your personal style and special skills to update it as you change with time.
True personal style has a strong element of who you are on the inside visibly expressed on the outside.
What you wear shows how well you know yourself. Common fashion words I hear from new clients at the beginning of our work together is that they want to be chic, sophisticated, elegant or casual. Well, to put it like Daniel Day Lewis’ character in the movie Phantom Thread who said, “What the hell does chic mean anyway?” These words don’t carry enough distinction to create your own sense of style, so where do you start?
Let’s begin simply by thinking about the inner you and your temperament in one of two ways, either as Feminine Yin or Masculine Yang, and then we will get more nuanced with your style definition. Temperament is your natural disposition; the way you automatically respond to the world around you. In the last two weeks, you learned how to see your body and face through the new lens of opposites Curvy Feminine Yin and Straight-lined Masculine Yang. If you didn’t have the chance to analyze your body or face, click here.
Female temperaments are just as diverse as our physical characteristics and the fashion designs we enjoy from delicate feminine designs to tough masculine styles. Your unique feminine Yin/masculine Yang levels add intrigue, wonderful complexity and depth to who you are and what you wear. There are women like you and opposite to you all over the world. Such is the spice of life!
Is the inner you more Feminine Yin or Masculine Yang?
The feminine Yin temperament is receptive, collaborative, and motivated by intuitive feelings. Yin’s association with the moonlit sky and quiet shades of night represents her “nocturnal” vision; the ability to see what is unseen by others. She can read between the lines and understand the subtle details and deeper meanings of life. Yin energy is absorbing, thoughtful, and all encompassing.
Yins want to merge with their environment and find a meaningful place in it. Yins teach that we are all a valued part of community and excel at nourishing relationships. As receptors of life, they ask us to look inside ourselves for answers and consider how our actions affect others. They are highly sensitive to their surroundings and need to understand their relationship to it; its tastes, temperatures, light ambience, and sounds. Yins are great at doing exploratory and imaginative things.
The Yang temperament is action-oriented, competitive and individualized. Masculine Yang energy represents the rigors of daytime and the energy to work, develop and succeed by doing. Yang energy is bright, alert and focused. Yangs distinguish themselves in their environment and make their own mark.
Yangs are outwardly driven; the go first, go quickly or go with a plan types who no matter how they do it are moving energy outward to the world in goal-oriented ways. Yangs are natural doers, planners and problem solvers and have high impact on their environment. They teach us to stand on our own and are great at directive, performance and transformative oriented things. Yangs cherish free will and the freedom to do what pleases them.
You may definitely fall to one side or the other or feel the inner you is both Yin and Yang. All of us, including men, carry these opposite energies inside us but the key here is to find out where you feel the most natural. Your inner temperament can also change as you change, but the essence of who you are remains intact from birth.
I created a fun and quick visual quiz to help you decide if your temperament, body and face are more Yin or Yang. The temperament part of the quiz has two sections. First, you start with how you were as a young girl and then move on to who you are now.
Here you see my gorgeous granddaughter Anya dressed in “Tomboy” Yang and “Girly Girl” outfits.
In the Tomboy Yang look, Anya is wearing clothes that a boy could also wear (aside from the chunky necklace). The jean jacket and camouflage t-shirt are great examples of Yang clothes.
In the Girly Yin look, Anya is wearing a floral skirt and flowy top reserved for “girls only” (how fun it is to have so many choices!).
Below is the girlhood temperament part of the quiz. The list has 13 qualities for each side. Check either the Yang or Yin box for each quality. A score of 7 or more on either side you were more Yang or Yin when you were a girl. Be sure you take the whole quiz after you read this article to find out what I call your Yin/Yang style quotient.
|TOMBOY YANG||GIRLY YIN|
|1. Daredevil||1. Scaredy cat|
|2. Run, jump, climb||2. Read, think, feel|
|3. Sporty games||3. Imaginary games|
|4. Resilient, tough||4. Sensitive, tender|
|5. Family protector||5. Family helper|
|6. Kept feelings inside||6. Show hurt feelings|
|7. Compete to win||7. Team player|
|8. Active, assertive||8. Receptive, patient|
|9. Dressed in a jiff||9. Dressed to express|
|10. Practical||10. Intuitive|
|11. Loud and proud||11. Sing and dance|
|12. Problem solver||12. Mood detector|
|13. Morning girl, eat and sleep regularly||13. Wake up slow, picky about food and sleep|
|7-13 checks is Yang
YES! I was mostly TOMBOY YANG!
|7-13 checks is Yin
YES! I was mostly GIRLY YIN!
The next step in the quiz is to analyze your temperament as a woman using the same general 13 qualities but worded specifically for life as an adult. You will be able to tell if your temperament has changed or stayed the same.
So, what does it mean for your personal style to be an inner Yin or Yang?
Let’s go back to the description of your personal style. Common words like chic, sophisticated, elegant and casual can be used to describe anyone and fit with both Yin or Yang style, so let’s get specific and have fun with a more nuanced description of your inner temperament. Here are just a few words that describe Yin and Yang.
|Masculine Yang style words (pushing energy out):
|Feminine Yin style words (drawing energy in):
|Structured, resilient, tough, badass, powerful, bold, cool, collected, spirited, determined, contained, armored, forceful, strong, dynamic, assertive, energetic, grounded, unstoppable, driven, hard-edged, warrior-like, tribal, exotic, dramatic, compelling, rigorous, bright, focused, direct, awe-inspiring, edgy, clever, savvy, polished, sharp, smart, vivid, snappy, sassy, vital, capable, orderly, practical, disciplined, solid, purposeful, stately, passionate, thrilling||Yummy, luscious, soft, delectable, delightful, fanciful, intricate, charming, open, alluring, mysterious, sensual, friendly, delicate, peaceful, lovely, intriguing, quiet, subtle, thoughtful, pretty, imaginative, sensuous, harmonious, light, creative, effervescent, luminous, receptive, inviting, refined, fluid, flowy, serene, curvaliscious, romantic, unpretentious, cuddly, warm, approachable, resplendent, gentle, nuanced, graceful, dreamy, ethereal, sparkling|
The end goal is to pick 4 essential words that make you feel complete and ensure they are represented in every outfit.
How, you ask?
As a signature stylist, I translate who you are on the inside and outside into your personal, authentic fashion story. To find out more about how to express who you are in what you wear, click here for your free 30-minute consultation!
Post your comments below and let me know how you like to dress to express!